Arizona is turning up the heat on the deadly gunrunning program known as Operation Fast & Furious, the failed Department of Justice plan that allowed weapons into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and brought about the death of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent.
The Arizona legislature has just created a special panel to investigate the program to determine whether federal officials broke any Arizona laws in allowing the gun sales to go forward and to see if state laws need updating to prevent future occurrences. “This happened here in our state,” said Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin, who announced the formation of the panel. “This happened to people who lived here and worked here,” he continued. “And now a Border Patrol agent who worked here was killed here.”
The state of Arizona’s decision to launch this probe is clearly warranted and underscores the serious nature of what took place with this deadly federally-run law enforcement program.
Arizona’s investigation comes just days before a new round of hearings is scheduled to begin on Capitol Hill, where Attorney General Holder will be questioned before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on February 2nd.
As you may recall, just days ago, one of the top Justice Department officials in Arizona, who was subpoenaed by the House Committee to testify about what he knows about the program, said he would not provide testimony, citing his constitutional right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment.
The Justice Department has admitted to providing false information about the program to Congress. It is engaging in obstructionist tactics, And, the Attorney General, who serves as the nation’s top law enforcement officer, continues to refuse to take responsibility for this debacle.
It is our hope that the Arizona probe, combined with an ongoing Congressional investigation, will get to the bottom of what really happened with this flawed program.
This scandal continues to generate opposition to the Attorney General on Capitol Hill and across America. California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher becomes the latest member of Congress demanding that Attorney General Holder be removed from office. And, we have already heard from more than 50,000 Americans who are demanding that President Obama and Attorney General Holder tell the truth about Operation Fast & Furious.
The launch of the Arizona investigation is welcomed news. We’re hopeful the probe will produce answers – something that both Arizona citizens and the American people deserve.